“Utilizing Artmaking to open deeper conversations with ourselves, so that we can access our own wisdom to guide us forward in our lives.”
And a little nervous… to be publicly offering both online an in person events at THE NEW STUDIO!!!
The St Lucie Cultural Alliance has graciously allowed us to have a space that can be used for live events, as well as my own art projects – I am in HEAVEN! After multiple years in very small spaces (or other peoples homes) I finally have a place that I can spend concentrated time doing my own art explorations. In addition it’s a wonderfully intimate space for either individual coaching and consulting, but small group explorations as well. I am announcing a full slate of events – most of which have a hybrid or online component for those who are either out of the area, or desiring the ease of working from home. Please check them out, and if you have any suggestions or ideas for me feel free to reach out as well.
An ode to the place we once called home as we make ready to “Let go and let G_d(dess)” take us into our new life and adventure.
We moved into this lovely cottage in the Winter of 2002, Jan 1st actually. It was sleeting and of course very messy and cold. As soon as we walked in a peace and quiet settled over us as we gazed out to the water.
It always amazes me just how quiet it is here considering the proximity of BWI (20 min) Baltimore (20 min), and Severna Park/Annapolis (20 min). It’s one of the first thing visitors often comment on (once they get past oohing and awing at the view).
We added the rock garden off the front door. It has rocks, some shells and sand from all over the world gifted from various traveling friends. Israel, India, Egypt, Africa, Peru, Brazil, Hawaii, Arizona, are just a few places represented.
We also built the two raised beds which are all sitting upon the original cement slab that the builders of the house had installed. WE think that it works much better, looks better and acts as a buffer to the flow of water towards the creek.
In the Spring these beds are ablaze with color. First the daffodils and crocus emerge even as the world is all grey and snowy, next come the tulips in various shades of fuchsia and pink. The innocuous green ground cover is actually pink Phlox that bursts into pink abundance here, and in several other of the outdoor pots. The Wisteria on the archways of the privacy fencing, blooms next luscious globes of lavender and purple with a lovely smell. Other garden beds hold Forsythia, Tulip, Crocus, and Iris bulbs. There is even a heritage (it has an aroma) rose bush.
The tree above the gazebo is a fruiting Mulberry tree which attracts the deer who daintily nibble in the early morning and around dusk. The weeping cherry blooms after the forsythia and close to the wisteria. . The Hydrangea may bloom or not, and they are quite happily taking over the block wall to the road.
The raised beds in the yard we planted with vegetables and herbs, especially Tomatoes, Peppers, Beans, and squash. We occasionally planted a bed between the parking area and terraced wall. The bed closest to the water has an asparagus patch that while isn’t very large, is quite prolific. It also hosts an oregano patch that we let go to flower this year because the bees love it so much. FYI always leave one stalk of asparagus from each bunch growing when you harvest them so they will keep producing, or so I’ve read.
Later in the Summer the Magnolia tree bursts into aromatic flowers. The air is completely perfumed by them. As the summer wears on, the perennials need to be supplemented with annuals if you want color all year. Mums come up until August so adding a few small annuals to the pots adds a lot of beauty.
We have a lot of wildlife visitors, ducks nesting in one neighbor’s yard, the annual turtle visitation for egg laying at another’s. We have squirrels that examine us from the deck rail peering in through the large windows. A small herd of deer come by for the mulberries.
There are several pairs of Osprey, a nesting pair of Bald Eagles up the cove, and many geese (while cute, we shoo them off). We sometimes have a cute roly-poly groundhog, bunnies, and occasionally a fox. Always fun to watch from a distance.
We usually have participated with Restore Rock Creek, a local organization dedicated to protecting, maintaining, and restoring the creek who run an annual “Oysters Rock” program that partners with Spat (baby oysters) producers and enrolls the waterfront neighbors to maintain the ‘baby oysters’ in cages at the docks throughout the Fall and Winter. They teach you all that you need to know. They gather and release the ‘babies’ around Memorial Day each year.
Nearby we have some very good restaurants. Mike’s North is at the end of Colony Rd: Crabs, Bands, Large outdoor seating area to sip something cold and watch the sun go down. Primo Pasta, on Ft Smallwood Rd towards Baltimore, has spectacularly good Italian food. A fun, quirky little place also on Ft Smallwood Rd is the Stoney Creek Inn. It was purchased by a young couple a few years back and it is quite good. Sushi – our pick is the Szechuan Café, off Mountain Rd in the same shopping Center as Giant Food (one of four nearby grocery stores). For steaks and other seafood Two Rivers, a bit more elegant, might be your choice. There is a Starbucks in the local Safeway store, but breakfast spots include Cookies Kitchen (mobbed on the weekends), and Johnny’s also on Mountain Rd.
For such a tucked away location all the amenities you might need are quite close by. We have a local Ace Hardware (where the Safeway is), and Home Depot is just 10 minutes away. The Post Office is on Mt Road in between the two closest grocery stores. Zips Cleaners, 3 health clinics, and of course the YMCA (used to be known as Big Vanilla). There is also a sprawling Flea Market outdoors on the weekends on Mountain rd.
At the end of Ft Smallwood Rd we have Ft Smallwood Park with a kayak launch, swimming beach, boat launch (though if you join the Rock Creek Park Association you are eligible to buy a key to use the neighborhood boat launch), and lots of great walking trails. The views are spectacular of the Patapsco River, Key Bridge, and the Chesapeake Bay. Also nearby are Weinberg Park (a less developed park with many trails), and Downs Park with it’s own dog park and beach.
You can even watch the Wednesday night sailboat races from here, or sometimes see a tall ship go by.
Most of these pictures show the glories of the warmer weather, and it’s really cozy here in the Winter as well. We have heated with our wood stove insert quite a bit.
With the blown in insulation in the attic, we are quite snug and comfortable. The views can sometimes be even more dramatic with the silhouettes of boats and trees.
There is certainly a lot to love about our little retreat, and had life gone a bit differently we may have been here still. We hope that whoever takes over the stewardship of our lovely cottage will love it as much as we have. There is an old saying, “We never truly OWN anything, it’s all just rented.” That sentiment rings evermore true as I navigate the changes of my life. There is a well of deep gratitude for all that I have had the privilege to experience, hold, and “rent,” in this life of mine.
And the winner is… ME! Yes really excited to be taking steps and moving forward. I’ve been following the tugs and directions of the various eddies of this river of life. Who knew at 16 when I began my working life just how many twists and turns and different career paths I would dance. So here I am, beginning again.
AS I approach the end of the Jack Canfield, Train The Trainer program, designed with great care to make me/us capable of teaching these amazing #SuccessPrinciples to the general public. These very simple (notice I didn’t say easy) tools to get anyone from point A (lost, confused, hopeless, discouraged) to point B (hopeful, empowered, moving forward in the direction of their dreams). I know I sound a bit like a religious convert sometimes, and, I assure everyone while there is a new light in my eyes it comes from a grounded foundation of concrete steps that anyone (including me) can undertake.
My vision includes bringing these tools to those, who like me, were not nurtured in the realities of harnessing my own talents to lead a truly productive life. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done alright. Somewhere along the way though I was convinced that my success could only be through another’s. I still strongly believe that my purpose is to utilize my creativity, curiosity and wonder to connect, nudge, guide all beings I encounter towards their highest expression of themselves to help make this existence, this world a better place to be. This is still service and, the tools of transformation for me include #Artmaking in all it’s forms.
I’m really nervous & really excited. Here’s to this next aspect of the journey!
So much time has past since my last writing here, it’s overwhelming just reviewing all that has happened. Even traveling backwards in time via the photo editor while multitasking my Duolingo French, so many feelings. Sadness, hope, joy, and bittersweet memories of this journey, so far. So far because I/we are still on it. We are still camped out in other’s homes (Thank you D&D & Charlie) while the therapizing of RB continues. We are still traveling back and forth to Emerald Dragon every month, “On the hard,” in St. Augustine at the Oasis Marina (a great place BTW, family owned, friendly, ethical & above all kind!).
Life has brought me on quite a journey this year. The previous year had me summarily expulsed from a marketing company I had helped build up and as a result decided that my almost 60 something year life was due for some overhaul, or at least review. The bounce hurt & I work to forgive for the betrayal that cheated me from the relationships, and the financial gains that I feel/felt I deserved. I mostly focus now on the positives I gained from the experience, I learned much including how to build and maintain a simple website like this,& get everything in writing. 😉
My desire to travel via our sailboat Emerald Dragon was the both the start of and the culmination of my split with the ex business partner. Her “meltdown into melodrama” was precipitated by the suggestion to her that I (&my husband) wanted to take the boat south again as we had twenty years prior. He -approaching seventy, and I -approaching sixty, wanted to be able to do this while we were still healthy. He had developed a heart arrhythmia that seemed mostly under control. After several months worth of fruitless negotiation, and legal action after my expulsion, and winter approaching, the timing seemed right.
Through an amazing set of circumstances I connected with Tracey, the woman who would become our tenant, renting our house, fully furnished (somewhat cleaned out already due to the AirBnB thing). She loved the place and needed a home that came furnished and ready to go. I love Win/Win outcomes. With most of our mortgage covered we were able to budget a 6-8 month trip returning to MD in the spring of 2019. We began our journey south in the Fall of 2018 traveling with our friend Dave on his boat Island Queen, another CSY similar to ours. He was a beloved connection and backdrop to much of our journey dropping everything to help move the boat after Robert’s stroke.
We had several memorable stops along the way; Solomon’s Island,The Dismal Swamp, Thanksgiving in St Mary’s, Thunderbolt Marine (Savannah,GA), Pompano Beach , Key West, Suntex Hollywood Marina, St Augustine, and of course Melbourne Yacht club & Ft.Pierce. Unfortunately these locations were often the site of some of the more dramatic events of our trip beginning with my brother’s hospitalization just before Christmas (Pompano), the death of our dear friend and neighbor Bill Flohr (Suntex Hollywood Marina, and culminating in my husband’s stroke while underway in Melbourne Florida.
Fast forward some to July of 2019, the joys and challenges of circumstance have us here at Charlie’s place overlooking the Inland waterway in Ft Pierce. My husband’s stroke while underway, brother’s fall and subsequent realizations about his (& my mom’s) living situation, my mother’s hospitalization, and all of the small moments of both terror and small (& great) beauty along the way.
New friends, and the support and love of old friends, the online family, many of whom I will never meet, my french studies, self studies, dreams, and art, and newfound communities of cruisers, stroke victims, yoga students, marina owners, all caring, helpful, generous folk are who & what have made each of these journeys a blessing.
Next, new doors are ready to be opened, life without (or at least much restricted) alcohol use, Jimmy Buffet songs about the sailing life to be challenged. Healthful new ways of being together, mentally, emotionally, and physically are developing. Moving back on to Emerald Dragon for further adventures of some sort, whether cruising or getting her ready for the next generation of adventurers. More land based and mental/spiritual journeying (anyone toured the Navy Seal Museum yet?). Learning about coaching, both myself and others as a potential career & area for growth, reclaiming my artist self as a painter, photographer, writer, publisher, and healer.
There’s hope in this future, & appreciation of the now, such is the journey as it continues.
Along the way of this 55+ year ride, I have spent much of my time learning from books. Teachers and mentors of the human sort have often seemed messy, flawed, and not always entirely trust worthy. As a result I found most of my wisdom in books. I read anything from science fiction stories of authors like Spider RobinsonMarge Piercy, and Robert Heinlein to philosophers like Thoreau, Jack Kerouac, and Camus . I explored the “WooWoo” worlds of Carlos Castenada, Joseph Campbell, Clarissa Pinkola Estes and so many others whose basic premises were the acceptance that our perceptions are mere agreements, not the Newtonian reality we have been trained to accept. While these explorations have always carried for me the seeds of greater potential, I have, up until most recently enjoyed them with a semi hopeful, passive view.
This transitional journey seems to be bringing me back, full circle, or perhaps more accurately, full spiral, towards those more “WooWoo'” or spiritual explorations, but this time with a less passive bent. I am feeling called to harness the lessons of the commercial worlds of advertising, marketing, and networking and blend them with a deeper call. A call towards exploration, and authentically sharing these explorations with fellow travelers. It is a call towards connecting with a tribe of courageous, & wholehearted explorers who want to dig deep, share encouragement and wisdom, and be willing to engage truth with compassion in an effort to be more, and affect more of our world(s).
Our teachers are everywhere, in books, on You Tube, podcasts, Facebook & other Social media venues. They are just outside our door in our brushes with the natural world. They are our neighbors, and coincidences, joyful moments, unexpected encounters, and even our houseplants.
Working with a Mastermind Group
The Mastermind process has connected me to a new type of investigation, into exploring some of the so called gurus of Personal Growth. Despite some trepidation I have found that working through these processes within our group, has been both fun, and life changing. For those that are unfamiliar, a Mastermind Group is an intentional and committed group of people that agree to, “meet weekly, monthly, daily even if it makes sense, to tackle challenges and problems together. They lean on each other, give advice, share connections and do business with each other when appropriate. It’s very much peer-to-peer mentoring.” (Forbes: 7 Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group). Our particular group allows for the sharing of leadership roles. We rotate who leads, and vote on the subjects we explore which alleviates some of the ego and power struggles that can distract from growth work.
We started with the Jack Canfield book, “The Success Principles.” This is a book that every person in transition should be gifted with. Though little of the information is truly new, the progression of principles, and the compassionate way they are presented will have you believing that you can actually succeed at changing your life. Working through this process has be a literal life changing event. I have often thought where our world could be if every school child had access to these techniques and principles.
Our latest book to work through is Jen Sincero’s, “You Are A Badass At Making Money” Written in the irreverent style you would assume from the title, Ms. Sincero challenges your attitudes about money, where it comes from, and how you can get it. It’s a fun read & let me note that it is most important to actually work these books. If all you do is read them, and even highlight all your favorite passages without doing the exercises, you will likely get less than what you would hope out of them.
Another classic “workbook” for creatives is Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way “A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity,” Though her book was originally published in 1992, and she has taught these principles of creativity recovery since 1978, the concepts and techniques are still as potent today as they have ever been.
Self Help books are easy to make fun of, easy to dismiss with a knowing and cynical wink. It’s a huge industry. When using them as tools, & being willing to share your vulnerabilities and dreams with others (& yourself) they can be a powerful way to move you in new directions. Ultimately, it’s up to you, & it sure helps to have voices of support holding you up when it gets hard.
Our teachers are everywhere. A teacher is one that for that moment, lights a fire, or opens a door to new awareness. Let each door opened bring with it it’s own challenges and joys. Allow us to muddle through our own next steps as we “Dance towards our greater becoming.” Here’s hoping that your journey brings you joy and heart-opening awareness as well. Happy Exploring!